Civil litigation is the process of resolving private disputes through the court system usually resulting in a trial. A federal civil case involves a legal dispute between two or more parties in the federal courts. These federal cases are more serious in nature. The purpose of civil litigation is to enforce and protect the rights of private litigants. They are not criminal in nature.
This check can be combined with a Social Security Trace to determine multiple applicable jurisdictions, allowing Crimcheck to search the correct federal courts.
A civil lawsuit report can have 2 outcomes, a disposition or last entry. A disposition closes the case and includes the judgment details, including whom the judgment is in favor of and the amount. A last entry means that the case is still currently pending with the courts and it details the most recent action taken during the case proceedings. If a case is still pending, the next court date will be included. For cases which have been settled out of court there is not a disposition.
Things that can prompt a civil litigation check:
- Broken Contracts
- Business Conflicts
- Landlord/Tenant Issues
Specifically, federal cases will be related to:
- Interstate Commerce
- Violations of Civil Rights
- Matters Regarding the Federal Government
- Matters Regarding Financial Institutions
Crimcheck will attempt to verify:
- Identity of parties involved (including plaintiff and defendant)
- Date of filing
- Case type
- Case number
- Judgment (disposition/last entry)
This search is useful for:
- All industries
- All positions
- Detection of lawsuits, domestic disputes and restraining orders
- Court settlements
- For Due Diligence checks: detection of business to business wrongdoing or fraud
Federal Civil Litigation Process
To begin Federal civil litigation proceedings in federal court, the plaintiff files a complaint with the court and serves a copy of the complaint on the defendant. The complaint describes the plaintiff’s injury, explains how the defendant caused the injury, and asks the court to order relief. A plaintiff may seek money to compensate for the injury, or may ask the court to order the defendant to stop the conduct that is causing the harm. The court may also order other types of relief, such as a declaration of the legal rights of the plaintiff in a particular situation.
What is included in a Crimcheck search for Federal Civil Litigation
Crimcheck conducts a search through the national PACER system to reveal any closed or pending cases against an applicant. Cases brought against an applicant in federal court will not appear in county civil court searches
It is important to note that civil records should be treated with caution. There is no national database that contains every civil case and the details.
Terms to Know
Arbitration: If agreed upon by both parties, an outside arbitrator will step in pre-trial and decide the case.
Arbitrator: Third party from the plaintiff and defendant who acts as judge in a pre-trial setting, and whose decision would preclude the case from proceeding to court.
Bankruptcy: A request made under federal bankruptcy statutes requesting relief and protection for a debtor from their creditors. Bankruptcies may fall under different Chapters – differing chapters apply to different debts and debt situations.
Cross Claim: Additional claims filed among multiple defendants.
DBA: Doing Business As
Default Entry: Automatic entry of proceeding into a case docket.
Defendant/Respondent: Party accused of causing the injury (answers the suit).
Discharged: Bankruptcy was allowed and the debt discharged.
Discovery (D/S): Period of time in which parties produce and share evidence.
Dismissed: Petitioner did not meet the requirements to complete the bankruptcy process under the Chapter.
Dismissed with Prejudice: The court has determined that the case is dismissed and can not be re-filed again.
Dismissed without Prejudice: The court has determined that the current iteration of the case is dismissed, however, the parties would be allowed to re-file under different terms.
Dispositive: Relating to or bringing about the settlement of an issue.
Foreclosure: Suit filed by a lien holder or lender against a debtor for refusal or neglect to pay on the loan with the goal of reclaiming the property.
Hearing: Appearance by parties in court or chambers.
Joint Debtors: Spouses or business partners.
Judgment by Default: When one party neglects to appear as requested by the court, the court can enter a judgment in favor of the appearing party.
Litigation: The act of parties arguing a case in court.
Moot: Not applicable to the situation.
Motions: Requests or actions submitted via filing to the court by a party of a case. These are not decisions, as the court has the power to accept or deny the motion.
Pending: Bankruptcy still in process (report next court date).
Petitioner/Debtor: Party requesting protection of bankruptcy.
Plaintiff/Petitioner/Complainant: Injured or complaining party (brings the suit).
Praecipe: Civil equivalent to a criminal warrant. The court’s request for a party to appear and state why the case should or should not proceed.
Response: Filed answer to the court or opposing party’s last motion or brief.
Return of Service: Court’s request to a party returned or denied.
Settlement: Pre-trial agreement between the parties to terms prior to arbitration or trial.
Summary Judgment: Request for judge to end proceedings and rule on the case as it stands.
Summons: Court’s formal request for the party or parties to appear.
Terminated: Proceedings are completed.
Tort: Type of civil case including negligence cases as well as intentional wrongs which result in harm.
Trustee: Individual appointed by the court to handle negotiations with the debtor’s creditors and to ensure that the debtor complies with the discharge agreement of the bankruptcy. During the proceedings, the Trustee is in charge of the debtor’s finances.